By Magdalene Mukami
Amnesty International on Monday released a report criticizing police brutality and killings in Kenya amid election chaos.
“Heavily armed police are using unlawful force against protesters and bystanders in the western city of Kisumu in what appears to be a deliberate campaign to punish inhabitants for continuing to protest amid chaotic elections over the past week,” the international rights group said in a statement.
Kenya has been rocked by violence since the country’s top court annulled the Aug. 8 presidential elections.
The violence has killed at least 50 people and injured several others, according to rights groups in Kenya.
Police said during Thursday’s re-elections they killed four protesters and arrested 80 others, adding that many injured are being treated for gunshot wounds in Kenyan hospitals.
Justus Nyang’aya, head of Amnesty International Kenya said: “In Kisumu, the evidence we gathered paints a grim picture of
“While some of the protesters in Kisumu have been violent, hurling stones and using slingshots, the response of the police is seriously disproportionate and at times bears a closer resemblance to vengeful attacks than legitimate policing,” Nyang’aya added.
After speaking to some of the injured, Amnesty International said: “The levels of injuries sustained by some of the victims suggest that extreme levels of force were used.”
“At least two men were fatally shot by the police in election-related violence in Kisumu on Oct. 26. Another man died of injuries that suggest he was badly beaten with a large blunt object, however, the circumstances of his death remain unknown,” the international rights group added.
Kenya’s electoral body, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission on Friday postponed elections in key opposition areas after protesters disrupted the exercise on Thursday.
This comes as President Uhuru Kenyatta is leading in the elections with 5,621,854 votes followed by Raila Odinga who received 56,792 votes despite asking his supporters not to participate in the elections.